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The downside of joint legal child custody

During a marriage, parents make major decisions in the lives of their children — many without even thinking twice. When they disagree, they work it out one way or another. What about when Louisiana parents are divorced? Disagreements regarding child custody, including joint legal custody, can quickly devolve into courtroom battles.

Most Louisiana courts give parents joint legal custody in a divorce. The parents will need to consult with each other on decisions such as religion, education and health care. This sounds like a brilliant plan to most parents as they go through their divorce proceedings since each of them retains some control over the future of the children.

However, when disagreements arise, they may not be quite as easily resolved as they were during the marriage. If sitting down together and attempting to discuss the matter rationally and unemotionally does not work, the parents may need to turn to a third party for help. A continued stalemate regarding the fate of the children may require a trip to the courthouse. However, before going that far, perhaps it would help parents to apply the same standard used by the courts, which is to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children.

It may seem as though making major decisions regarding the children should not ultimately require the assistance of the court, but when divorced parents are diametrically opposed in their opinions, it may be necessary. In many cases, however, the involvement of a third party to help provide ideas and compromises may be sufficient. Child custody issues can be challenging for divorced parents, and they deserve the right to enlist aid when needed in order to continue to do the best they can to provide their children with the best lives possible.

Source:, “Parenting Disagreements“, Debrina Washington, Accessed on Sept. 1, 2017

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